Aug outage

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (2019).

An interim government report with suggested focus areas on reviewing the power disruption in GB on the 9 August 2019.

Key Points:

  • On 09/08/19 over 1 million customers were affected by a major power disruption that occurred across England and Wales and some parts of Scotland.
  • The disruption itself was relatively short lives, with all customers restored to power within 45 minutes, the knock-on impacts on other services were significant. Rail services were particularly affected with major delays lasting until 11/08/19.
  • Alongside an Ofgem investigation, the report identified a set of areas that warrant further investigations in order to learn lessons for 14/08/19 and to make the electricity system more resilient.
  • Suggested areas of improvement:
    • Communications – immediate communications in the first hour of an event needs improvement.
    • Loss of generation – there is a suggestion that more work needs to be done on the compliance process, notably for embedded generation.
      • Further work is required from the electricity sector to ensure continual balance between system security, resilience and the generation mix.
    • The report recommends that there should be a review into the reserve and response holding policy of the Electricity System Operator and whether it is fit for purpose going forward.
      • It should explore the single largest loss criterion and whether it adequately covers the consequential loss of embedded generation; the increased volatility of frequency deviations within operational limits; and the level of inertia.
    • To ensure lessons are learnt it is recommended that there be a review into the performance of the Low Frequency Demand Disconnection scheme.

It is suggested that for essential services it would be appropriate to establish minimum standards for critical infrastructure to ensure that their internal systems and business continuity plans are fit for purpose for such situations.